May 8, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield

Today as part of the Itching for Books' blog tour for Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield, you have an opportunity to read my thoughts about this original historical fantasy novel for young adults, check out my favorite quotes and enter a giveaway for your chance to win a signed copy of this book.

Book Cover: Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield

Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield

#1 in Chantress Trilogy series

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy

Format: Ebook, 336 pages
Published On: May 7, 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Received as part of blog tour.

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First Sentence: "I was digging in the garden when I heard it: a strange, wild singing on the wind."

Summary for Chantress:

Lucy's Chantress magic will make her the most powerful — and most hunted — girl in England.

"Sing, and the darkness will find you." This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy's guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows' Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can't help but sing — and she is swept into darkness.

When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses — women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.

Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion…

Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.

Author Photo Amy Butler Greenfield

A Little Bit More About Amy Butler Greenfield:

Amy Butler Greenfield was a grad student in history when she gave into temptation and became a writer. Since then, she has become an award-winning author.

Born in Philadelphia, Amy grew up in the Adirondack Mountains and later studied history at Williams College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Oxford. She now lives with her family in England, where she writes, bakes double-dark-chocolate cake, and plots mischief.

Other books by Bethany Lopez: A Perfect Red and Virginia Bound


My Thoughts:

15 year old Lucy have been living on isolated island with her old servant Norie since they survived the shipwreck. She has been warned many times never to take of her necklace or listen to the songs on the wind or (heaven forbid) sing. And Lucy is not forbidden to sing for the same reason as me - because she has the vocal capacity of Scuttle, the seagull from The Little Mermaid. No, if Lucy sings, the darkness will find her. *insert ominous music*

But one time Lucy just can't resist the melody she hears in the wind and... her adventure begins. Transferred from the island to a heart of a 17th century London, Lucy is out of her depths while trying to find out more about her family, her strange singing abilities and the current political going-ons.

I will be honest, there were some things that simply did not work for me in this book. I could not just wrap my mind around signing magical spells for example. When I tried to imagine that scene it always turned out to resemble a bad musical. And also I wish the side characters were a little bit more detailed. They were given an unique set of distinguishing virtues (or faults) but sometimes they felt a little bit shallow like they needed more depth. But since this is Amy Butler Greenfield's young adult debut, I am willing to be a little bit forgiving. Especially since she worked against some usual young adult novel tropes.

Yes you heard me. No usual irritating cliches here. No insta-love or love triangle romance. The attraction between Lucy and Nat starts out slow and progresses even slower while they get to know each other. Also I liked that Lucy does not get anything easy. She is stubborn, persistent, hard-working, willing to admit her mistakes and work hard to correct them. As Albert Einstein once said: "Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work..."

Chantress is an out-of-the-ordinary coming of age story about the usual problems: family, first love, dealing with changes in your body, trying to find your identity and place in the big big world... It's a perfect read for young adults because it has a clean romance without sexual language and with a good set of values and messages shared. This is a book that you can with a clear conscience recommend to any teen or young adult that is a fan of historical fantasy.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Favorite Quotes:

Is it stupid to list as your favorite quote the tagline of a novel? I don't care. I just love it, although it promises much more gothic air than Chantress has, this is still a great tagline.

"Sing and the darkness will find you."

As words of wisdom and great instruction what to do when things do not go as expected, you can follow Nories' advice.

"What is done is done, and we must make the best of it."

With 'Love is in the air' as soundtrack:

"Our eyes met, and I felt a spark like the kick of magic or the start of a song."

And for the end, another words of wisdom, this time from young prince:

"My father used to say that if anyone is to be trusted, it is not the person who seizes the power. It is the person who turns it down."


As part of Chantress blog tour, Amy Butler Greenfield and Itching for Books are hosting a giveaway:

  • ONE signed copy of Chantress for US residents and another for international fans
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!


  1. Good review. Nice quotes. Thanks for participating.

    1. Thanks, I'm glad you like it. Thanks for having me on your blog tour. :)

  2. Oh this book sounds really good! I don't think I've read a book where characters sing chants! I'd immediately think of Charmed xD Still I'm glad you enjoyed this one! :)

    1. I didn't think of Charmed. :D And they do not sing words and spells, more like instrumental music chanting. Something like this - ignore the scene I am just talking about how Ariel is singing.

  3. Hmm, interesting. I do love the lack of triangles or insta-love! I now have an amusing musical playing in my head with the cover model, haha. I think I'll see if the library has it to give it a chance :D Thanks for the review and giveaway!!!

    1. Hehe I had scene like that most of the time too. :D I hope your library has Chantress and that you enjoy it. :)

  4. This sounds really unique. I'm intrigued by the idea of the book. :D

    1. Well I am glad I got you intrigued. :) I hope you like the book if you ever decide to read it.

  5. Thank you for the giveaway!

    I cannot wait to read this books!

    1. I'm so sorry you were not the winner, more luck next time.


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